Archive for March, 2016

Spotlight on John Neill

by   |  03.24.16  |  Academics, Accounting, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Careers In..., Faith Infusion, MAcc, Uncategorized




What is your education background?

Ph.D., University of Florida, 1990 – major in Accounting and minor in Finance

M.S., Abilene Christian University, 1984 – major in Religious Education

B.B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1980 – major in Accounting


Dr. John Neill

Dr. John Neill


What is your work background?

I began my career as a Programmer Analyst and Corporate Accountant with Pennzoil Company, working for them from 1980-1983. I spent a year as an Accounting Instructor for ACU from 1984-1985, moving from ACU to the University of Florida as a Research and Teaching Assistant from 1986-1990. I then began my work in academia, serving as an Assistant Professor at Florida State University from 1990-1997, as an Associate Professor at Chapman University from 1997-2000, and then moving to ACU where I began in 2000 as an Associate Professor. I now serve as the Chair of the Department of Accounting and Finance and am a Professor of Accounting.


What do you teach at ACU?

I teach Intermediate Accounting II and Advanced Accounting.


What committees/other duties do you have at ACU aside from teaching?

I am the Chair of the Accounting and Finance Department and the Director of the Master of Accountancy Program.



John, Natalie, and Karene Neill


What drew you to teaching? Why did you want to work with students?

In 1984 and 1985 I was working on a master’s degree in Bible at ACU. During that time, I was asked to teach one sophomore level accounting course per semester. I was surprised to learn how much I enjoyed that experience and it caused me to want to get a Ph.D. in accounting so I could continue to teach accounting at the university level.


What’s the best part of working with students?

I think the most rewarding aspect of teaching is that I get to see students grow up and mature over time.


Have you ever given up any big opportunities to keep working with students?

No, I have never considered doing anything else in the last 25 years.


Outside of teaching, what passions and hobbies do you have?

I am a graduate of the University of Florida, and I really enjoy watching Florida sporting events on TV. I also like to travel. In my younger days, I was an avid runner and I ran three marathons and a number of half marathons. I still enjoy exercising, but injuries have caused me to stop running.


Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

I was invited to be a panelist at the Bentley University Global Business Ethics Symposium in Madrid, Spain in 2007. I also feel a sense of accomplishment every time one of my research papers is published.


Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

My wife and I deliver Meals on Wheels on Thursdays. We have had the same route for many years.


John and Karene Neill

John and Karene Neill


Who is your role model and why?

I can’t think of a specific individual who I would consider my role model. However, I have great respect for anyone who takes pride in their work and lives their life with integrity.


Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

I have always had great respect for Dr. John Willis. When I was in his classes, I could tell how much he cared for his students. His mastery of the subject matter always impressed me also.


What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

I mentioned this earlier, but I think most of my current students would be surprised to know that I ran the Chicago (2002), Marine Corps (2003), and the New York City (2004) marathons. Sadly, age and injuries have now forced me to exercise on an elliptical while watching Netflix (I especially like BBC shows) on my iPad.


What would you really want students and alums to know about you?

I want students and alums to know how much I enjoy teaching at ACU. I believe in Christian education and in our mission in COBA.



Spotlight on Karen Viertel

by   |  03.10.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Staff, College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Uncategorized

What is your educational background?

I have a B.S. degree from Lubbock Christian College from back in the “dark ages”.


Karen Viertel

Karen Viertel


What is your work background?

I have been a business manager for a medical clinic, a school nurse/secretary, and an academic advisor. My most important work has been being a mom and now grandmother.


What do you do at ACU/COBA?

I am so privileged to serve as an academic advisor in COBA. I have been here for more than 10 years and I.LOVE.MY.JOB.


The three Amigos. Karen Viertel, Samantha Matta and Nuria Hall.

The three Amigos. Karen Viertel, Samantha Matta and Nuria Hall.


What drew you to work at ACU? Why did you want to work with students?

What drew me here was the opportunity to work with students every day. No two days are the same and it is NEVER boring. I love watching the life metamorphosis that happens between a student’s freshman year and graduation day. It’s truly remarkable to witness and I get to have a front-row seat for the whole show!! Most come to college scared and afraid and not sure at all about what they want to do after college. To watch them grow wings and be ready to fly off to a new job or adventure upon graduation, ready for the world is a pretty incredible feeling.


Outside of ACU, what passions and hobbies do you have?

My husband Mark and I operate a large family ranch north of Abilene. There we raise cattle and LOVE to build things: fences, houses, good memories. I enjoy “junkin’” and repurposing furniture, etc. I love a good flea market or junk store almost more than anything. My favorite thing to do is to be with my family. We have two grown children, both married and now two grandsons. At ages 3 years and 7 months, they are simply amazing. I can’t get enough of them.


What is a good, early story about your first job or when you were in college?

I remember landing my first job as a business manager for the only obstetrician in the small town we lived in, just prior to college graduation. I had NO IDEA what I was doing but he was patient and I worked hard to soak up everything I could while I was there. In the two years I worked for him, we made tremendous improvements in office efficiency and accuracy. Plus, I learned a lot about teamwork. Without the ability to be a team player, you severely restrict your effectiveness in any organization. Work chemistry is essential.


Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

Yes. Mark and I are very involved with Global Samaritan, Dry Bones in Denver and our church family. I also really love to help with Meals on Wheels.


Mark and Karen Viertel

Mark and Karen Viertel


Who is your role model and why?

My grandmother has always been my role model, but now I would also add my mom. Granny was a very strong woman that raised two children, one of which became my equally strong mother. My mom became a widow at 28 and managed to raise myself and two sisters with the help of her widowed mother. I look back now and wonder how they did it. My mom was a rancher/farmer. She drove a tractor, plowed fields and pulled calves – not the type of work any other mothers at the time did. They both showed us that being a strong woman is a good thing. As a result, I’ve always been pretty much of a tomboy and am very at-home with outdoorsy ranching pursuits and I don’t shy away from hard, manual labor. In fact, I like it. It’s good for the soul.


Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

I would list two teachers: Dr. Gary Evans at LCC. He was my first college Bible teacher and he will never know the impact he had on my life and thinking about being a Christian. Incredible man and mentor. Also, Dr. Christa Dobbs, my accounting teacher. She was an amazing woman and fantastic teacher.


If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

The ability to fly and also time-travel. I mean, come on…who wouldn’t?


What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

I LOVE to travel, I know how to use a cutting torch and enjoy ranch work. I am learning how to weld.